PITTSBURGH--Mock draft artists, sharpen your pencils.
The Bears were ensured of having the 18th pick in the first round of the NFL draft Sunday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers ended the San Diego Chargers' season with a 35-24 victory at Heinz Field.
San Diego will choose 16th in the first round and the wild card was their playoff run. Had the Chargers reached Super Bowl XLIII, they would have dropped to 31st or 32nd. Now, they'll hold ground and the Bears are no longer in position to move up to No. 17.
Provided general manager Jerry Angelo does not deal the pick,
it will mark the first time in franchise history the Bears have used the 18th pick in the draft. it will mark only the second time in franchise history the Bears have had the 18th pick.
They traded to get the 18th pick in 1983 from Tampa Bay and used it on wide receiver Willie Gault, the Bears' second selection in the first round that year after grabbing left tackle Jimbo Covert sixth overall. That was a banner draft, easily one of the best in franchise history, as the Bears also got other key figures for the Super Bowl XX team including corneback Mike Richardson, safety Dave Duerson, guard Tom Thayer and Hall of Fame candidate Richard Dent.
Thanks to intrepid reader Jay Lundry for catching this.